How Do We Operate

PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) currently employ the underground mining method. Ore extracted from the mine is hauled to the mill to be crushed and ground into very fine particles. This is followed by a flotation process using a reagent based on alcohol and lime to separate concentrate containing copper, gold and silver minerals. The residue with no economic value (tailings) is channeled by means of a river to a deposition area in the lowlands.

Concentrate in the form of slurry is channeled from the mill by means of a 110 km long pipeline to a dewatering plant in Amamapare port. After it is dewatered, the concentrate, which is PTFI’s final product, is shipped to smelters.

Mining and processing operations

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Mining:  includes drilling and blasting, loading and hauling ore, and crushing to produce copper ore.

Processing: includes grinding, flotation, and dewatering to produce copper concentrate, which buyers pay for the copper, gold, and silver content.  

Copper concentrate is PTFI’s final product, with value added 95%.  

Refining operations in Gresik – East Java
  • Refining includes smelting and refining to produce copper cathode
  • Refining is carried out by PT Smelting, Gresik, which was established in 1997 and is jointly operated by PTFI & Mitsubishi.
  • At this time, PT Smelting is the first and only copper smelter in Indonesia
  • The smelter takes in 40-50% of PTFI’s output
  • In support of the industry downstreaming policy, PTFI is expanding or building an additional new smelter with an investment value of up to 45 trillion Rupiah. 
  • Freeport Indonesia Smelter is designed to have the largest copper concentrate processing capacity in the world. The results of this smelter processing will be added to the processing capacity of the operating smelter, PT Smelting Gresik. 
  • With the largest single-line design in the world, Freeport Indonesia Smelter has the main facilities of a copper smelting factory with a precious metal refining unit and is equipped with supporting facilities in the form of a Sulfuric Acid Unit (Acid Plant), an Oxygen Unit (Oxygen Plant) and a Desalination Unit. 
  • Using "Converting Smelter and Double Flash Smelting" technology, Freeport Indonesia Smelter will be able to process copper concentrate with a production capacity of 1.7 million tons per year and produce copper cathodes of up to 600,000 tons per year. 
  • Freeport Indonesia smelter is equipped with Precious Metal Refining facilities, which are equipped with hydrometallurgy technology, so that it is able to process anode sludge from processed copper concentrate refining into gold, silver, and other precious metal derivatives. 
  • In its strong commitment to achieving a zero waste smelter, Freeport Indonesia has integrated several waste processing technologies that are capable of producing a variety of new and value-added processed products.

Refining operations in Gresik – East Java